India's new President Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday described the war against terrorism as the fourth world war since "it can raise its evil head anywhere in the world".
In his first presidential speech, Mukherjee said that the visible rewards of peace had obscured the fact that "the age of war is not over".
"We are in the midst of a fourth world war; the third was the Cold War, but it was very warm in Asia, Africa and Latin America till it ended in the early 1990s. The war against terrorism is the fourth; and it is a world war because it can raise its evil head anywhere in the world," he said.
"India has been on the frontlines of this war long before many other recognized its vicious depth or poisonous consequences," he added.
Mukherjee said that he was proud of the valour and conviction and steely determination of the armed forces as "they have fought this menace on our borders; of our brave police forces as they have met the enemy within; and of our people, who have defeated the terrorist trap by remaining calm in the face of extraordinary provocation".
Mukherjee was sworn in president Wednesday at an impressive ceremony in parliament.